Designs should work to intelligently harness the environmental benefits of our parks.
Parks should naturally manage stormwater, improve air quality, reduce flood risk and help mitigate the effects of climate change. Designs should also look to restore ecological and hydrological systems to promote healthy, thriving ecosystems. Auckland's parks should lead by example, using sustainable design ideas and showcasing these to educate and inspire the public.
Protect, restore and conserve hydrological systems
Planting can restore and create healthy waterways by preventing erosion and the disposal of sediments, while removing pollutants before runoff enters the water system. Identify, understand and integrate water systems to enhance the overall functioning of the ecosystem.
Design to develop successful self-sustaining water systems by:
- working with the council's stormwater unit to design a successful stormwater system for the site
- identifying and understanding natural and modified hydrological systems that exist on site and within the wider water catchment
- investigating upstream stormwater networks, and assessing if it is possible to remove the pipes and restore natural streams (daylighting) through the park area
- planting appropriate indigenous species along the riparian edges
- managing weeds
Use planting to re-establish degraded sites and create or restore habitats
Well-planned planting can create habitats and stabilise sites that are prone to erosion, such as coastal edges, valleys, steep hillsides and stream banks.
Restore habitats through planting by:
- identifying areas of unstable land that are prone to erosion and difficult to access andmaintain
- specifying areas in need of stabilisation through revegetation
- identifying areas that could benefit from restoration planting
- working with other conservation agencies and volunteer groups to share the enterprise, and collectively enjoy the enhanced outcomes.
Control and manage weeds and animal pests
Control and manage all invasive species in an area to enable native flora and fauna to re-establish. This creates a more diverse and self-sustaining community with improved habitats and a greater food source for local fauna. If they are not removed or managed, invasive species can, over time, alter or irreversibly change ecosystems and cause extinction.
Control weeds and animal pests by:
- identifying invasive species on the site and establishing key priority areas and timelines for ongoing management and eradication. Start with areas that will produce easy-wins, where quick results will act as exemplars and will motivate ongoing efforts.
- removing invasive weeds from the site before you start planting, as weeds will compete with plants for light, space, moisture and nutrients
- considering the impact of weed removal on ecology, for example changes to shading
- using best practice pest management techniques, for example a combination of replacement planting, herbicide injection application and intensive planting to crowd out seed establishment of invasive species.